Following their embarrassing defeats in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and not being able to form governments in Goa and Manipur due to poor decision making, the fault lines in Congress seem to have widened.
Following their embarrassing defeats in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and not being able to form governments in Goa and Manipur due to poor decision making, the fault lines in Congress seem to have widened. Two of the former Congress Minister spoke against the party leadership accusing it of living in a culture of sycophancy. Kishore Chandra Deo, tribal affairs and Panchayati Raj Minister said that Rahul Gandhi had to get a dozen people around him removed. It was necessary for him to survive, he told IE. Former Law Minister Ashwini Kumar that the grand old party must accept its mistakes and take care of it, wherever the responsibility lied. Former Congress MP Priya Dutt even said that the party suffered from an “auto immune disease”, and everybody needed to rebuild it from the inside.
Speaking to reporters, Deo said that Congress had become heavily dependent on a dozen people, who had no political accountability. He alleged that a lot of them had developed personal interests at the expense of the party and continued to enjoy important positions within the party. He further added that the position change was a game of musical chairs between them and they are put in charge of one state after another. And if one took the list of these states, they would notice that the Congress had lost. When asked if Rahul Gandhi knew about it, Deo said that the Congress VP had mentioned it himself in the party meetings.
Deo admitted that the leadership was ineffective at best and as the Congress was facing the threat of not being relevant as a national party and the Rahul Gandhi had not taken any action. On asked if it was time to look beyond the Gandhi heir, he said that everything that is necessary need to be considered. Congress needed to change leaders at various levels and the best way to do that is not to confuse sycophancy with loyalty. He added that if Rahul Gandhi can manage to get rid of such yes-men around himself, only then he can survive.
Deo is not wrong. Quite often in the recent time, we have seen senior leaders from the Congress, changing sides and joining BJP, a party which is quite opposite of the Congress in terms of principles; prime examples being Rita Bahuguna Joshi and the CM of Manipur, N Biren Singh. Even in the state of Odisha, the Congress, which has been a prime opposition to the Naveen Patnaik government for such a long time let go of a ripe opportunity during the recently concluded Panchayat elections. The BJP, riding on the Narendra Modi wave,anaged to capture the Anti-BJD sentiment and cashed in on nearly 300 seats.
The Congress is in a dire need of an upgrade. When BJP needed an upgrade in leadership after Atal Bihari Vajpayee, they took their time, made their changes and came back much stronger with Narendra Modi. They went through and were wise enough to take off L K Advani, Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari from the top post in the business. In all likeliness, if the Congress has to save itself from a self-afflicted apocalypse, it needs to change its leadership. From the top of the food chains to the bottom dwellers, they all need to go. And most importantly, they need to move on from projecting Rahul Gandhi as the face of the party. Democracy is a government chosen by people and they have rejected Rahul Gandhi. Congress needs to do the same and move on from the reign of disappointment by the Gandhi progeny.